“Something I Could Never Do”

by | Jul 16, 2015 | Marriage, personal journey

I repeatedly said, “That’s something I could never do.”

Ever voiced those words and found yourself eating them later??

Riding a bicycle across Iowa for a week, sleeping in a tent each night, waiting in a port-a-potty line 20-people deep or in a shower line an hour long in the middle of July was not something I had on my bucket list. It wasn’t my idea of a “good time,” let alone a “vacation.”

No thank you.

It was “something I could never do.”

Really. I’m a girl who likes the comforts of home. When traveling, I’m one who likes my amenities at fine hotels. The more the better. With a comfy bed, hot shower, freshly-brewed morning coffee, and air conditioning. Overnights in a tent really aren’t my cup of tea.

RAGBRAI 28 editedSpending six-or-so hours on a bicycle, for days in a row, in the heat of summer didn’t sound too appealing either.

It was “something I could never do.”

Not only because I chose not to, but because I didn’t think I could handle it physically, emotionally, or mentally. How does one bike over 400 miles in seven days anyway?? Don’t body parts begin to fall off after 50???

Biking is my husband’s thing. Not mine.

So, when he asked last year if I would ride RAGBRAI (the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) with him, almost everything in me wanted to selfishly say, “no.” “are you crazy??”

But you see, I couldn’t stop reflecting on how God spared Bill’s life in a biking accident just six months prior when he was hit by a car. And here he wanted to climb back on a bicycle once again, to look fear straight in the eye, and to continue doing what he loved. You better believe I wanted to do all I could to support him.



Including riding tandem on RAGBRAI.

Five days last July we rode together through the heart of Iowa for 320 miles. And guess what??


It was the biggest challenge of my life in all sorts of ways, but what I learned about myself, and how our marriage blossomed on that tandem, far outweighed the trial. I was able to witness my husband thrive in ways I hadn’t in our 22 years of marriage.

RAGBRAI 19 edited

Friend, to what have you spoken it’s “something I could never do”?

Could it be you’re holding yourself back from a blessing? An experience that will teach you something about yourself or someone you love? I encourage you to revisit what you once said “no” “are you crazy??” to, and see if it might be time to say, “I’ll give it a try.”

So this year, there’s nothing holding me back. (But those pre-ride jitters are real!)

We are scheduled to again climb aboard the tandem bright and early Sunday morning and begin our second trek across Iowa. This year we’re riding six out of the seven days, Lord willing, for 402 miles.

RAGBRAI Julie Day 2Your prayers would be a gift to us. Prayers for good weather. For our safety. For our health. For physical strength and rest. That we may be a light to all we come in contact with, and for our children and everything else to be okay back home. (Yes, our security system gives us peace of mind, but God is the ultimate security system!)

Check back often, as I plan to update you each day on our tandem journey starting Saturday!

May we each remember today:

Don’t let anything hold you back, especially yourself.




It’s #livefreeThursday with Suzie Eller. Linking up with her and many others on the subject of “nothing holding me back.” You’ll be blessed and encouraged to visit and read others’ posts.


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  1. Susan B Mead

    Julie, NEVER comes to my mind for that adventure too! The quaky stomach and concerns are real, yet it is what’s on our heart and in our head that matters most. I can..through Christ who gives me strength.

    INDEED! You are living proof of that!

    From Suzie’s #livefree


    • Julie Lefebure

      Amen, Susan! There were so many times on the bike my husband and I prayed Philippians 4:13 for us last year. I imagine we’ll be doing the same this year. Thank you for stopping over and for sharing. Love the #livefree community!

  2. Suzie Eller

    Wow! That’s beautiful. I now want a tandem bike!

    • Crystal Hornback

      I could totally see you & Richard riding tandem!!! Do it!

    • Julie Lefebure

      Thanks Suzie! Tandem biking is quite the adventure, and has blessed our marriage in ways I never could have imagined. I’d say go for it!

  3. Marcia Cramer

    You have inspired others to try also – me! Learning to like and perhaps enjoy biking (without a motor) has been an adventure I never would have thought of doing. Thank you.

    • Julie Lefebure

      Hey Marcia! I’m thrilled we get to be on this adventure together! Looking forward to hopefully riding with you a couple days next week to create more wonderful memories.

  4. Rachel Q

    So great, Julie! My brother rides in Ragbrai. When we lived there we used to host people in our yard with tents and offered showers! It’s great fun! Good luck! Praying you have a great week!

    • Julie Lefebure

      Thank you for your prayers, Rachel. I love that your brother rides it, and that you’ve hosted riders in the past. How fun! Looking forward to a great week ahead. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Crystal Hornback

    I love this, Julie!!! WOW! What an incredible experience… this is just beautiful!

    • Julie Lefebure

      Thanks, Crystal. It is an incredible experience! Looking forward to it again.

  6. Laura Naiser

    WOW! I love how your motivation of love for your husband pushed you to embark on this grand adventure. I recently went through a similar situation where I had to conquer my phobia of heights/falling/flying so I could fully embrace the adventure of our recent vacation and not miss out on precious memories with my husband and two sons.
    Love is a powerful motivator and when we lean into God’s strength (instead of relying on our own), he empowers us to do things we never thought, in a million years, we could do!
    I will be praying for you and your husband and look forward to your updates. So glad I found your article via Suzie Eller’s #livefree linkup!

    • Julie Lefebure

      Hi Laura! I’m glad we crossed paths through Suzie’s blog. I’ll come over and visit yours today. Your words are so true… “… when we lean into God’s strength (instead of relying on our own), he empowers us to do things we never thought, in a million years, we could do!” Amen! I’m thankful we both were able to say “yes” as love motivated us to lean into God’s strength for our situations. Thanks for sharing and for stopping over. Bless you!

  7. Sabra Penley

    Praying for you, girlfriend! Have a great time!

    • Julie Lefebure

      I appreciated your prayers, Sabra! More than you know. Much love to you!


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